GMA  HITS  CRITICS,  ASKS  CONGRESS  TO  PASS  LAWS  FOR  THE  POOR

MANILA
, NOVEMBER 6, 2007 (STAR) President Arroyo lashed out at her critics during a meeting today with the National Competitiveness Council Export Development Council.

Mrs. Arroyo said that instead of politicizing, she asked everyone to help her in passing laws, among them the Cheaper Medicines Act, address the growing prices of oil and create more jobs.

She also urged Congress to pass the 2008 budget which would increase projects that would benefit the poor.

Mrs. Arroyo also boasted about the strong economic gains of the country as the peso continues its rally and a good stock market.

FROM THE PALACE:  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Opening Statement at the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and Export Development Council (EDC) Meeting, Malacañang's Heroes Hall, November 6, 2007

Mga kababayan, sa paglapit ng langis sa presyong sandaang dolyar bawat bariles, kailangan kumilos ang bansa, lalo na ang mga liderato ng pamahalaan at ekonomiya, upang mabawasan ang hampas sa tao ng krudo, gasolina at LPG. Pinakamalakas ang tama ng pagtaas ng presyo sa mga mababa ang kinikita at hindi makahabol sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin.

Sa ganitong panahon, hindi katawad-tawad ang pag-aaksaya ng panahon sa pamumulitika samantalang nakabinbin ang mga panukalang kailangan upang mabawasan ang gastos ng pamilyang Pilipino at dagdagan ang kita at hanapbuhay. Kaya naman hinihiling natin sa Kongreso na agad ipasa ang batas para sa Murang Gamot, at ang amyenda sa Electric Power Industry Reform Act na makababawas ng singil sa koryente. Hindi rin dapat mahuli ang budget para sa susunod na taon, upang agad makinabang ang sambayanan sa mga proyekto para sa maralita, lalo na ang patubig, farm to market roads, pabahay at pagamot.

Para rin tutukan ang problema ng langis, bilihin at hanapbuhay, pinulong natin ngayon ang National Competitiveness Council, Export Development Council at mga labor federation. Babalangkas tayo ng mga aksyon upang maagapan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo, at lalong mapalakas ang productivity. Sa pagtaas ng productivity, mas makalalaban ang Pilipino sa dayuhang mga produkto dito at sa ibayong dagat, at hindi gaanong tataas ang presyo ng bilihing gawa sa ating bansa.

Bukod sa productivity at presyo, kailangan ding magsulong ng mga panukala, programa at proyekto upang maihatid sa karaniwang Pilipino ang mga biyaya ng lumalagong ekonomiya. Kabalikat ng kalakal at industriya ang manggagawang Pilipino sa pagsulong ng kaunlaran, at marapat lamang na magtamasa din sila ng mga bunga ng pagod nating lahat. Bibigyan din ito ng pansin ngayon, at sa iba pang pulong ng mga organisasyong ito, na aking inaatasang magpulong bawat buwan upang subaybayan, isulong at dagdagan pa ang mga inisyatibo upang ipaabot sa masang Pilipino ang mga biyaya ng ating lumalakas na ekonomiya.

Unti-unti nang umaabot sa karaniwang tao ang pag-angat sa ibang bahagi ng lipunan. Ayon sa poverty survey na inilabas kahapon, bumaba na ang porsyento ng nagsasabing mahirap sila mula noong unang bahagi ng 2006. Isang dahilan ang mga reporma sa buwis na nagpalakas ng piso at investment, at nagdagdag sa pondong pangkaunlaran. Ito rin ang rerepasuhin sa BIR command conference ngayong hapon.

Hindi na tayo dapat mag-aksaya ng panahon at pagod sa mga bagay na malayo sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan at pasanin ng sambayanan: presyo, trabaho at benepisyo. Pagtulungan na nating lahat ito – ang gobyerno, Kongreso, negosyo at manggagawa – sa ikabubuti ng taong bayan.

Maraming salamat.

FROM  OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG: PGMA calls for unity, end to politicking amid steep oil prices in world market

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the people today to unite, put an end to politicking and join hands in mitigating the impact of steep prices of oil in the world market to further improve the lives of the people. The President also said she convened the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and the Export Development Council (EDC) to discuss measures to soften the impact of surging oil prices on industries and enhance productivity for the country to be globally competitive.

“In these times, wasting time on politicking instead of passing legislation to ease spending of Filipino families and enable them to earn more is unforgivable,” the President said in her opening statement at the meeting held at Malacañang’s Heroes Hall.

The President, alarmed by the surging prices of oil in the world market, has ordered concerned agencies to put in place a host of measures to ease its impact on Filipinos.

“The government has to move to lessen the impact of rising oil prices in the world market on the people,” the President said.

The President called anew on Congress to focus on passing key legislations such as the Cheaper Medicine Bill and the Amendment to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to pave the way for cheaper power rates.

The President also wanted the 2008 budget bill passed so that funds would be available for key projects.

The President pointed out that the meeting with exporters, labor federations, and the competitiveness council was convened to come up with measures to mitigate the impact of rising oil prices on the Filipinos and enhance productivity so Filipino products would be more competitive in the world market and that this would prevent the rise in prices of local products.

Oil prices in the world market could reach $100 per barrel by December, the Department of Energy said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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